A ball boy (C) lies on the ground as he reacts after an altercation with Chelsea's Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard during the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Swansea City and Chelsea at The Liberty stadium in Cardiff, south Wales on January 23, 2013. (Photo by ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)
(ABC News) -- The highlight of a soccer game between Chelsea and Swansea in Wales
turned out to be an incident involving a player on Chelsea, who was
ejected after apparently kicking a ball boy.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard was ejected Wednesday for kicking at a ball
boy who didn't return the ball to him quickly enough in the final
minutes of a semifinal game in the English League Cup.
The ball bounced off an advertising board behind the goal line at
Swansea's Liberty Stadium late in the scoreless match. A 17-year-old
ball boy picked up the ball, but when Hazard tried to reclaim it to
continue the game, the ball boy went down to the ground and smothered
Hazard, 22, tried to lodge the ball free with his hands but was
unsuccessful. Hazard then kicked the ball free from under him, but
apparently made contact with the teen, who was left holding his
Several Chelsea players were seen tending to the ball boy and helping
him to his feet after the incident. The ball boy left the game. A
referee gave Hazard a red card, throwing him out of the game.
"Has football gone mad?" Chelsea said on its official Twitter feed.
"Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ball boy attempting to
smother the ball rather than return it."
The ball boy's name has not been released. No criminal charges have been filed.
"The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying to
kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy," Hazard
said after the incident, although he still apologized.
Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez said Hazard met with the ball boy after the incident.
"They both recognize there was a mistake," Benitez said. "The boy was
apologizing for time wasting. Hazard was frustrated and tried to get
the ball. He was kicking the ball and getting the ball."
The match finished in a scoreless tie, but because Swansea scored two
goals in their two previous meetings, it advanced to the next round.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
By Anthony Castellano, ABC News